What is timesharing?
Timesharing offers people the opportunity to purchase time at fully furnished vacation accommodations - usually in weekly increments - for a fraction of the cost of full vacation home ownership. For a one-time purchase price and an annual maintenance fee, timeshare purchasers own their vacations forever, or for a predetermined number of years, depending upon the purchase agreement. Timesharing can take a variety of forms. The most common is a resort condominium (which can range from a studio with a partial kitchen, all the way up to a five-bedroom unit with a full kitchen and luxury amenities). Lock-offs are another unit option. They are unique because they can be separated into smaller components by locking a door. Other less-common timeshare accommodations include hotel rooms, houseboats and motor homes.
What are the different types of timeshare purchase options?
Today's timeshare industry offers numerous purchase options to meet consumers' desire for vacation variety and flexibility. Although the availability of these purchase options varies from resort to resort, here are the most common:
What is the first thing I should look for when considering a timeshare purchase?
As a matter of course when considering a timeshare purchase, you should ensure that the company offering and selling the product is a TISA member. TISA members are required to adhere to an exacting Code of Conduct, which ensures best practice in all aspects of their business dealings. TISA membership is ultimately a guarantee of fair and professional trading.
How do I choose my timeshare?
Use the following guidelines to choose your weeks.
Do I have to take my holidays in the same place each year?
How do I use RCI facilities?
As a paid up member of RCI, you have an amazing selection of holiday destinations from which to choose. By exchanging your holiday ownership, you have access to over 3700 resorts worldwide as well as the added range of RCI Holiday Choices including cruises, tours, hotels and guesthouse accommodation options. Follow these easy steps to booking your dream holiday, but remember, there is a limit to the time and space available at all resorts, so it is important to follow the process.
Then you’re ready to go – Happy Holidays
How does timeshare work for my family?
What do I actually get in return for my money?
What are the major benefits of clubs and points schemes?
Membership with RCI offers flexibility of choice in your holiday options, as do clubs and points schemes. The latter offers flexibility of holiday investment. Through all of these you can choose when, where, for how long, the sort of accommodation, recreational facilities, and the number of holidays you want to have each year - at a price to suit your pocket. If your club or points scheme is affiliated to RCI, it vastly increases your selection of options.
How do I convert my holiday credits into holiday?
Clubs and points schemes offer units/starts/points as part of the membership package. These are the "currency" of your timeshare holiday, and with them you purchase holidays that have a corresponding points value. The "points price" of your holiday will vary depending on the quality of the resort, the type and size of the accommodation, and the period and duration of your visit. The points allocation for each week is assessed annually to take into consideration factors such as school holidays. These are usually published annually in a points value guide to help members in their selection of holiday options.
Do I have to use all my holiday credits each year?
Points are allocated to paid-up members each year. Most clubs and pints schemes allow their members to accumulate their unused points, providing membership and reservation fees are kept current. These accumulated points enable members to have a wider choice of holiday options in the following years. Generally, after three years members forfeit their unused points. Unused points can also be rented, to generate income for the member.
Can I sell or bequeath my points/stars/unit
Yes, your points are an asset that can be resold, or left to your heirs.
How can I broaden my holiday options?
Many clubs and points schemes allow members in good standing to borrow on future points allocations. This allows the broader options, such as extending the duration of their holidays. Alternatively, members have the option of buying more points and steadily increasing their holiday portfolio.
How far in advance should I book my holiday
Because of the growing popularity of timeshare holidays it is recommended that you book as far in advance as possible, and at least a year in advance if you plan to visit a popular resort or destination area during peak seasons. Out of season, there is less pressure, but even so, you should make your reservation at least six months in advance. Generally speaking, the more notice you give, the better chance of successfully booking your first choice.
This is a unique form of non-specific holiday ownership that has all the benefits of timeshare with none of the negatives. Instead of investing in a conventional timeshare week, one invests in a suitable amount of points. Each year, you will be allocated the amount of points, which you purchased and it is up to you to decide how, you wish to use them. Obviously, the higher the season, the more points you will require for that particular week. Each resort has a point's timetable wherein each week is allocated a certain amount of points according to the time of the year, the size of the accommodation and the grading of the resort.
Owning points will give you the following options
1. ARE MY POINTS RECOGNISED BY RCI?
Yes you have the best of both worlds; you can use the stock within your own points club and use all RCI’s facilities and resorts – thereby doubling your chances of getting what you want.
2. HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM TIMESHARE?
With conventional Timeshare you own a specific week in a specific resort. A very inflexible system. Of course you can gain a degree of flexibility through the use of international organisations but you will always be limited by colour coded grading and unit size. With points ownership you have none of the restrictions of conventional Timeshare. You are able to holiday when you like, where you like, and as often as you wish, and the holidays that you don’t take can be saved up and used in the future. You are also not restricted by colour coded weeks and you can have access to resorts in the international exchange organisation programs.
3. SO HOW DO I JOIN?
You become a member by purchasing a number of point’s rights. These point’s rights entitle you to an annual allocation of POINTS Holiday Points. You also become a member of the points Management Association to which all points owners belong.
4. WHAT ARE HOLIDAY POINTS?
Your receive your allocation of Holiday Points each year and you use these Points like money to exchange for Holiday time in the Resort Accommodation which forms part of the points system. You receive a Resorts Points Value Guide including all the Resorts in the system which will enable you to determine just how many Points is will cost to holiday in a particular unit size at a specific time of year. Obviously peak season cost more Points than low season times and large units more Points than small units, etc.
5. WHAT HAPPENS TO THE POINTS I DON’T USE?
All unused Points can be saved for up to 3 years.
6. SO THAT MEANS I DON’T HAVE TO GO ON HOLIDAY EVERY YEAR AND IF I STAY AT HOME I CAN HAVE TWICE THE HOLIDAY NEXT YEAR?
Yes, absolutely. And in addition if you don’t have sufficient Points for the holiday of your dreams this year then you can borrow your Points from the next year.
7. THIS SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE?
Yes. If at any time you wish to increase your annual allocation of Points then all you need to do is purchase more Points Rights from Timeshare at the then ruling price and add them to your portfolio.
8. SO THIS IS ALMOST LIKE AN INVESTMENT PLAN FOR FUTURE HOLIDAYS.
Yes, it is. But remember, it’s an investment in terms of holidays and not an investment for financial gain or return. That should only be of secondary importance.
9. CAN I LET MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY USE MY POINTS?
Once again the answer is yes. You can book holiday accommodation using your Points for your friends and family. You can even rent out accommodation that you book and earn income from your Points.
10. HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BECOME A RESORT OWNER?
As little or as much as you want to spend. You can start with any number of Points Rights, depending on your budget. Thereafter you can always increase your Points Rights ownership should the need arise.
11. HOW SECURE IS MY INVESTMENT?
A very good question. All holiday accommodation included in the points system is held in a Trust with the points Management Association being the beneficiary of the Trust. In addition, there are independent trustees so the properties are totally secure. Finally, you have invested in a pool of properties and as you probably realise it is much better to spread one’s investments and not to hold all your eggs in one basket.
12. WHERE CAN I USE MY POINTS?
The points system is expanding fast. Each Owner receives full details on all the Resorts included in the system in their Points Value Guide. In addition, as new Resorts are included in the system, existing points owners are able to holiday at these resorts as well. Also, should you need to holiday overseas, there are over 3500 international resorts affiliated to RCI, enabling you to use your points overseas, in all the tourist destinations.
13. CAN I ALWAYS GO ON HOLIDAY IN PEAK SEASON?
Obviously not all Owners can go on holiday at the same time and the beauty of this system is its flexibility and variety. To cope with peak season demand the peak season times cost more Points than out of season and, in addition, they work on a reservation priority status, which gives each Owner a fair deal over a period of time.
14. MUST I TAKE A FULL WEEK?
No. You can take mid week breaks for just 25% of the points for a full week and weekend getaways for 75% of the Points. Consult your Points Value Guide for the various Resorts that offer this option.
15. WHAT OTHER COSTS ARE THERE?
In order to maintain the properties and to provide reception and housekeeping services, as well as to manage the entire system, a levy is charged annually. This levy is very carefully budgeted for and is under control of the POINTS Owners themselves.